Thank you, Athens

Thank you, Athens

A thank you note to my favorite little town

I grew up in a town whose population was almost half of the total enrollment of the University of Georgia. The size of my high school graduating class makes up a whopping .7% of the total number of students I'll be graduating with in 2019. And while these numbers hung over my head as I started school at UGA, I felt an overwhelming amount of peace about going to school here.

Athens, Georgia: a college town with a high poverty level and above-average music scene. I knew I was going to enjoy the four years I would spend at school here, but I never knew how much of an impact this place would have on my life. And as the Thanksgiving season is coming to an end, I figured it was time I gave thanks for this new home of mine.

So, thank you, Athens, for:

... giving me a newfound sense of adventure. I find myself wanting to spend every ounce of my free time exploring. Whether it's the Pulaski swing, a random flower field, the Iron Horse, the Tree Room, or the Train Trestle, Athens always finds a way to broaden my sense of adventure (and rid me of my fear of heights).

... showing me how sweet friendships can be. Never in a million years would I have expected to have the friends that I have. They hold me accountable, encourage me, and challenge me to grow deeper in my faith and to be the best version of myself. Athens has brought me the greatest people!!! Wow, I could go on about them forever, but I don't have that kind of time.

... giving me the confidence to stop being a follower and start being a leader. My time in high school was spent trying to be like everyone else. My freshman year was filled with nights of doing what everyone else was doing and mornings of regretting every second of it. I never expected myself to have the courage and confidence to start being ME, not who everyone else wanted me to be.

... letting me fail. In high school, I excelled in sports, music, and academics. I don't think I experienced much failure then. However, college is a whole different story. I learned that B's are still good, and it's okay to not be the best at everything. School is hard! Life is hard! I can't succeed in everything.

... becoming my new home. Going back home to see my family is so sweet and special, but it's weird now. I love Athens. I feel at home here, and I never want to leave! It's crazy how quickly this place has become everything I could have ever asked for.

So, Athens, thank you. Thank you for making the past year and a half better, sweeter, and fuller than I could've ever imagined. You've exceeded my expectations and have proven to be the best thing that's happened to me. I'm so thankful for the time I've gotten to spend here and for the time I have left. Athens, I love you!

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Dance Marathon Helped Me Understand What It Is That I Stand For

What do you stand for?


The weekend of March 1, 2019, I stood for over 20 hours for the kids. Yep, I am not lying.

Dance Marathon at FSU is a 40-hour event split into two shifts of 20 hours. My freshman year, I earned sit times throughout the marathon, which I was incredibly thankful for, but this year was something totally different. I was on the internal team this year, which means, I worked behind the scenes of Dance Marathon since September. Since I was on the internal team, I did not get the opportunity to get the set times that I did the year prior. I was worried about this because I was not sure if I would be able to do it.

Spoiler Alert! I did it.

There were many times during the marathon where I thought that I could not stand much longer, but then some thoughts came into my mind. Who was I standing for? I was standing for the kids who had to get their leg amputated because they had osteosarcoma and could no longer stand on both legs. I was standing for the kids who are bound to their hospital beds right at this very moment because they are not strong enough to walk on their own. I was standing for the children who needed me to help them win their fight.

This is what kept me standing. This motivated me so much that I did not complain once because I knew who I was doing it for, and I was not going to let them down.

There were multiple people who kept complaining. Every word out of their mouth was about how their feet hurt, or how they were so tired. A large part of me wanted to turn to them and tell them, "Do you know how tired Grayson was when he had to have his many rounds of chemotherapy when he was just one-year-old?" I did not say that to them because I realized something. I knew what and who I was standing for, but maybe they didn't. My goal this year is to help all of those people understand WHY they are doing it.

20 hours on your feet may seem like a long time, but to watch $2,210,165.21 go up at the end, nothing compares.

Like the musical group Fun. once sang, "What do I stand? What do I stand for?" To that, I say, "I stand for the kids."

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